Super Bowl 2012: 5 Things to Know As You Watch the Game

[ 0 ] February 4, 2012 |

New England Patriots face off with the New York Giants for Super Bowl 2012 Sunday; here are 5 things to remember as you watch the game, including who that guy is on the touchdown line salsa dancing

So the big game, Super Bowl XLVI, kicks off at 6:29 p.m. EST this Sunday and no doubt you’ve had it up to here with facts, figures, celebrity predictions, scheme breakdowns and old highlights.

Related: Super Bowl 2012 Advertisers Use Social Media to Build Hype

OK, so maybe you can’t get enough of celebrity predictions. But still, enough is enough. Right? Well not so fast. There is still time for a few extra storylines and we simply can’t resist going there.

While others talk Tom Brady versus Eli Manning or Bill Belichick versus Tom Coughlin, we’ll give you some other angles to consider. Here are 5 talking points:

1. Who is Myra and why is she important to this game?

You’ll notice that the Patriot players will be wearing patches on their jerseys that read “MHK.” These are there to honor the memory of Myra Hiatt Kraft, the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who passed away on July 20 last year. A noted philanthropist in her own right, Myra was also a significant part of the Patriots organization and was extremely popular amongst the players.

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Her passing has been a rallying point for the Patriots and if they do win, expect her name to be mentioned during the post-game comments.

2. A Scott or a Pole? Who do you want to take the final kick?

Three points decided the last Super Bowl played between these two teams; the New York Giants won the game. The Patriots’ previous three Super Bowl wins were all by three-point margins. It is therefore a distinct possibility that the game will come down to a Scotsman or a Pole who was born in Baton Rouge.

Related: Best Places to Watch This Year’s Game

Stephen Carroll Gostkowski (pronounced “gust-OW-ski”) is the Patriots kicker. He was perfect on 59 extra points this year, and made 28 of 33 field goals with a long of 50 yards. His career long is 53 yards. He has not missed an extra point since his rookie year.

On the Giants is Lawrence Tynes who was born in Greenock, Scotland, but raised in Milton, FL. He was the kicker whose 32-yard field goal in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLII was the margin of difference in the Giants’ 17-14 win over the Patriots. He, too, was perfect on extra points but was just 19 of 24 on his field goal attempts with a long kick of 52 yards.

Victor Cruz

3. Who’s that guy doing the salsa?

Victor Cruz has become an unlikely superstar and his salsa dance following his touchdowns has the potential to be the biggest sensation in NFL dance history. Bigger than Hines Ward’s “Dancing with the Stars” victory and yes, even bigger that the Icky Shuffle.

Cruz, who attended the University of Massachusetts, came out of nowhere this year to break the Giants record for receiving yards. He scored nine touchdowns and after each, as an ode to his Puerto Rican heritage, shimmied a little salsa. In a league that has banned displays with the ball following scores, the dance has been a refreshing reminder that the game is fun. Even Madonna is doing it!

4. What’s a Grankle?

Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots’ record-breaking tight end who scored 18 touchdowns this year is a key for New England. He injured his left ankle in the AFC Championship game when Baltimore’s Bernard Pollard rolled on it while making a tackle.

As it is the most observed body part of the week, the ankle has taken on a persona of it’s own. It has become known as “the Grankle.”

5. Who is going to win?

That is the $8 billion question. That is the amount that is estimated will be wagered on the game’s outcome. Consider that the big news in America this week was the Facebook IPO that hopes to raise $5 billion.

Here, the bet is on the favored Patriots – 17-14, the exact reverse of the last Super Bowl match-up between these two teams.

Enjoy!

Malibu Kelly Hayes is the spotter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Since 1986, when he began a 25-year run on ABC’s Monday Night Football, he has been in the booth for over 500 prime-time games. This will be his 10th Super Bowl, and yes, he has the best seat in the house.

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About Kelly Hayes: Wine Writer- The Aspen Times Spotter NBC's Sunday Night Football.
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